Ceton InfiniTV 4 – at last

I’ve been in the Windows Media Center game from the very beginning, aside from a brief run-around with the MythTV project.  Over the years I have struggled to come up with a solution that got me all of the way to a wife acceptance factor of, well, acceptable.  This has lead me to have a really expensive Media Center setup in about 5 complete hardware/software revisions over the years. With the very best I still, in some measure of defeat, have maintained a set top cable DVR.  Sad, really sad.

Early last year, I made the leap and got on the pre-order list for the Ceton InfiniTV 4 – a rumored, mythical, 4 tuner cable card solution with promise.  I threw my $400 on the table and began the wait.  At the most, I could expect an over promised, under delivered piece of junk that I could sell on eBay for 25% of it’s purchase price like so many other failed tech solutions, right?

When it finally arrived, 7 months later, the hype in the forums were at a real frenzy, with people getting $800 for the card.  People were saying that this thing just worked.  I had such high hopes.  A tear came to my eye imagining my wife looking at me with pride, finally achieving my Media Center dream.  All those grand undelivered promises forgiven.  A restored sense of tech God balance, a platform for future gadget endeavors to spring forth, media related and otherwise.

Ready for defeat, I installed the card, and prepared to battle Comcast, something I had done before having been on the ATI Digital Cable Tuner bandwagon.  After hours and hours of phone support where I begged them pitifully, like a scene from Midnight Express, to understand that they did not need to come to my house (I already had the CableCard) I convinced the right person to touch the right button.  And then I finished the Windows Media Center 7 setup.

From that moment, until now, the experience really has been a wonder – in light of all of my past failures.  The Ceton card works like a champ.  I have never lost a recorded program, seen it stutter, crash, stall, hang, or otherwise make my wife laugh at me.  I have finally found a solution that gives me the power to do what I have promised several times in the past: take the DVR back to Comcast.  It’s been 3 months.  The InfiniTV has never failed.  Never. I still have that damn DVR, but I swear, after a bit more testing I’m really going to take it back.

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